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16.08.2012

Hotwire access on a crane hook

This may well be the most extreme example of a Death Wish so far? Involving so many risks it’s hard to know where to begin.

The photographs are sent to us from a Polish reader and were taken in May this year. They involve two men working on what we understand are live overhead power lines – although they well be shut down as far as we know.

The man working on the lines has been lifted into position by an articulated loader crane using his harness and lanyard as the ‘rigging’ First thing is the clock is now ticking for the suspended man in terms of Suspension Trauma as the blood supply to his legs and other bits is restricted.
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Suspension Trauma here I come


That may well be of minor concern if those power lines are live!, Our suspended man may well be taking it cautiously but the loader crane boom is in close proximity to a number of overheard power lines to the side, while they look to be of household or industrial strength voltages it would only take a flaw in the insulation or an overzealous movement from the operator to create some sparks.

There is of course also the question of lifting people with cranes, while FEM has relaxed its recently implemented rules on this, it would never have anticipated this level of relaxation! That lanyard was also not designed for lifting and looks decidedly well used.
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"Ok where does this wire go" Hanging out among the wires on a loader crane hook


No doubt about it this one is up among the 10 worst cases we have seen and a Death Wish among Death Wishes. If this man survived the ordeal, which guys like this often do….. he may not realise that suspension trauma does not always kick in immediately – while it’s a grim thought a little blood clot may yet be lurking in his groin, waiting for its chance to head for the heart or the brain?

Let’s hope not – and clear that depressing thought with the notion that chancers like this tend to have nine lives.

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